MATERIAL: Hand-Written/Painted
DIMENSIONS: 17.78 x 15.24 cm (7 x 6 inches)
COMPONENTS: Two-sided.
NOTES: Himalayan Art Resources item no. 205328

The Triay Collection of Himalayan and Mongolian Art

15 Dec 2022

Paris, Avenue Hoche

Paris - Bonhams Cornette de Saint Cyr is proud to announce the auction of the Triay Collection of Himalayan and Mongolian Art which will take place in Paris on Thursday 15 December. The collection spans works created over a period of 1,500 years in the Buddhist culture that once flourished in Mongolia, Nepal and Tibet with estimates from €100 to €80,000. The sale consists of more than 480 lots of which 93 lots will be offered in the Live Auction on 15 December, with the remainder being offered in an Online-Only Auction from 10-16 December.

Assembled over a period of 40 years with an eye for the unusual and esoteric, The Triay Collection of Himalayan Art includes a vast array of sculptures, masks, paintings, amulets, sculptures, ritual paraphernalia and objects. In the Tibetan Buddhist artistic traditions, graphic images of death and the afterlife - an area which was of particular fascination to the collector - are used as reminders that life is fleeting and that we must act virtuously. This exceptional sale showcases eerily beautiful images in the form of paintings, sculptures, objects, and ritual items. It presents a rare opportunity for collectors to dive deeply into Buddhist lore and practice.

A number of the highlights are dedicated to the Buddhist deity Chitipati, which take the form of skeletons, represented either singularly or as pairs depicted as a harmonious couple dancing with limbs intertwined, such as a pair of Chitipati ritual dance costumes with white metal and silver masks and silk embroidered garments and boots, Mongolia, 19th century (€80,000-120,000). Another Chitipati ritual dance costume with a papier-mâché mask and painted silk and silk embroidered garments and boots, Mongolia, 19th century will be offered with an estimate of €40,000-60,000. Considered embodiments of the deity themselves, each element of the costume is thoughtfully designed. The five-pointed crown of skeletons and parasol finial surmounting the terrifying gaze and wide gaping mouth of the face is deliberately fearsome.

Bonhams Global Head of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Art, Edward Wilkinson, commented, "The Triay Collection is a unique assemblage of Himalayan art gathered over decades with a discerning eye and attention to detail. With many works featured in the landmark exhibitions in the Fundación "la Caixa", Madrid in 2000, Musee Guimet, Paris in 2002, Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2003 and the Rubin Museum of Art in New York in 2010, this collection shines a fascinating light on Buddhist ritual art."

Bonhams Global Head of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art, Asaph Hyman, commented: "Following the success of the sales of de Marteau and Rousset Collections, the Triay collection is a further milestone in the market. This collection shines a fascinating light on ritual instruments and objects and offers a wonderful opportunity to collectors worldwide. It is an honour to have been entrusted with this remarkable project."
ITEM ID: 5536
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Hand-Painted Tibetan Tsaklis

Century: 17th (1601-1700)
Notes: 17th or 18th century

Tsaklis are Buddhist or Bon ritual miniature paintings made on paper, cloth, or woodblock prints, commonly referred to as ‘initiation cards’. Averaging between 8 to 18 centimeters in size, these paintings usually follow a unique iconographic program depicting buddhas, bodhisattvas, protector deities, siddhas, lamas, attributes, or ritual objects as a fully contained set. That being said, a complete set is rare to come by, though the initial arrangement would have outlined a specific sequencing for the associated ritual practice.

In some cases, writing is included on the front, but almost always inscriptions are included on the back of each card. These inscriptions can identify subjects and their sequencing, imbue the painting with a mantra, include a dedicatory inscription to a lama, or mention the time and place that cards were made.

First recorded in the Tanjur, a canon comprising treatises and commentaries on Buddhist doctrine, tsaklis were first described by the monk Anandagarbha during the 11th century, who discusses the, “tsa ka li of the body,” in relation to a physical manifestation of a deity and its use as a visual aid in meditative practice.

The lack of a complete set and their classification as cult objects has made their precise use vague, though they are understood to relate to the following ritual activities: 1) initiation and empowerment rites; 2) the consecration of images, or to mark or protect a temple; 3) as a substitute for deities or ritual materials; 4) for protective amulets; 5) as aids in meditational practices to help invoke deities.